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We can build it - says JGM Group

5 September 2012

We can build it - says JGM Group

JGM Group a team of developers and businessmen are proposing building over 1,000 worker suites on several sites in central Christchurch for the rebuild and work to fulfil the city’s Blueprint.

The first site selected will be on one of a few sites they are investigating in the city centre and surrounds. The Cressy Village. The Cressy was the fourth of the ‘first four ships’ and arrived in 1850 transporting the workers who built Christchurch. The selected site will open in March- April 2013.

“On this second anniversary of the first major earthquake to shake our city, we’re putting our hands up to get the ball rolling. The JGM initial proposal can cater for up to a 350 unit village with others of varying sizes placed around the city, ideally with quality accommodation for around 10-20% of the workers required for the rebuild. We have firm interest from a number of construction businesses to the site, but we are still sensitive to planning and rule changes,” says Jamie Thomas of JGM Group.

“The estimates are for $30 billion of work, over 10 years requiring up to 36,000* skilled construction (23,900) and support workers (12,000), and they have to live somewhere. The people that build Christchurch, both locals and the people coming in, require quality accommodation and can’t be housed in shipping containers, broken buildings or sheds,” says Jamie Thomas. “Providing quality accommodation operated by professional facilities managers is critical to the city’s needs and is what JGM Group aim to provide,“ he said.

JGM has met already with leadership organisations SCIRT, CCC, CCDU and CERA, as well as working with Police and key companies such as McConnell Dowell who are leaders in the rebuild. All parties are well aware of the need for accommodation initiatives from the private sector, and there is general support for the concept being promoted.

“Our experience so far is that the organisations leading and assisting the rebuild are doing a fantastic job of working towards creating Christchurch as the city of the future. SCIRT has been tirelessly working alongside those of us planning for the next decade of growth, and CCC, CCDU and CERA are focussed on making it happen and are clearly trying to make this as smooth as possible. We know there are still inevitable issues but this is a big job.”

The Government, in particular Hon Kate Wilkinson, Minister of Labour, has been extremely helpful and clearly there is an understanding of the workforce, accommodation, logistic and timing issues Christchurch faces for there to be a rebuild.

“Units will have a bedroom, ensuite, personal amenities and storage, they will be architecturally designed, double-glazed, insulated 20 lifespan modular suites. Onsite we’ll have affordable catering, recreation facilities and areas, onsite management and maintenance, 24 hour security personnel, swipe access, lighting and other services. ESS Support Services Worldwide will bring their expertise providing food and support services. There will be larger shared lounges, games rooms and outdoor activity areas. We will also be ensuring the areas are well landscaped. We want to be excellent neighbours for existing residents and we will be in contact with them,” said Jamie Thomas.

We know that ESS is excited at the opportunity to support the rebuild, with a community based village that not only facilitates growth, but also enhances the city, now and to the future.

JGM is proud to announce that building, services and fit out requirements will be local sourced where at all possible. “JGM’s values include using Christchurch, Canterbury, South Island and then New Zealand contractors and suppliers for this work, before looking offshore. This is our city so let’s keep as much benefit locally as we can. We don’t make TVs in New Zealand so these will be brought in,” he said. When the village site is passed back to the owner of the land, JGM will donate 6 units to the Women’s Refuge and 4 units to the Christchurch City Mission.

“The current tight pressure on accommodation in Christchurch results from the rebuild and the loss of housing and the 20,000 TC3, TC2 and Red Zone residents needing accommodation over the coming years, temporarily and permanently. We’re already seeing the stress and demand on housing with price hikes and availability issues and the plight of those affected. We are available to help and our hand is also up for temporary residential solutions if required. We want to help the people of Christchurch.”

Further announcements will be made in the coming weeks and months.

· Estimate from Canterbury Employment and Skills Board

From ESS worldwide

ESS Support Services Worldwide leads the market across the world in providing food and support services to companies operating in the oil and gas, mining, construction industries and to the defence sector, and has a strong presence in Canterbury through our associated operating brands in the Healthcare and Education Sectors and a number of corporate clients. The company utilises locally based supply chain where possible and currently we provide employment opportunities for over 450 Cantabrians.

ESS support almost every aspect of daily community life in large scale accommodation centres or residences whether in the middle of the Australian desert, at a coalmine, on an offshore oil rig or ‘on base’ at 6 defence bases across New Zealand.

As the global leader operating Accommodation Villages ranging from 50 people right through to large scale 10,000 person camps ESS understand the complexities involved and as such have well developed operational policies and procedures to efficiently manage these complexities. As the only food and support service provider in New Zealand with ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001 quality accreditation across the business, ESS can assure clients of a safe and reliable service to their employees.

In designing services for the JGM Group facility in Christchurch the ESS vision is to create an environment with a sense of community that embraces the spirit of Canterbury and adds value to the local community. Supporting this ESS will seek to implement their Active Life community engagement program, designed to provide a central point of contact for the village and provide the medium for the workers to get involved in the community. This program will be led by the on-site Active Life Coach who will form part of the management team for ESS.

ESS is excited at the opportunity to support the rebuild, with a community based village that not only facilitates growth, but also enhances the city, now and to the future.

Questions and Answers

Who is paying for this?

The private sector is funding these developments.

Who will negotiate the tenancies?

Employers of the skilled workers. Occupation rights will be held with construction and other companies who will enter into an agreement for a number of suites. Part of those agreements will tie occupancy to employment.

What will it cost?

This will vary from site to site and the commercial arrangements in each case.

How many jobs will the site create?

Including construction, fit outs, services, security, and then running and operations we expect the first site will employ 30-50 people with 30 direct and indirect jobs created to manage, operate, secure, cater, and clean.

How long will the buildings be there?

We estimate around 10 years at The Cressy Village site. Other sites tenure will vary.

How big will the buildings be and who will the site look?

Single storey, with landscaping, it will look similar to a hotel.

Will neighbours get a chance to have a look at the plans?

Yes we will be in contact with neighbours.

Who will own the land?

JGM will rent the sites from existing landowners.

When will this be operating?

The first site can be operating by March/April 2013, providing there are no further delays affecting the JGM or the sites.

What will JGM Group do with the buildings and the sites once work has finished?

The site has a long lifespan but after The Cressy Village is closed the land will go back to the owner of the site. When the village is passed back to the owner of the land JGM intends to donate 6 units to the Women’s Refuge and 4 units to the City Mission.

How will JGM Group manage safety in The Cressy Village?

The site is designed in accordance with CEPTED guidelines (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) and there have been regular meetings with Police on site and resident security.

How can JGM Group manage problems with residents?

Occupation rights will be held with construction and other companies who will enter into an agreement for a number of suites. Part of those agreements will tie employment to occupancy and general responsibility to employers. Adecco, with HR and employment psychology, and security advisers, will assist through these situations.

For residents who breach occupancy rules there will be follow up. Where serious breaches occur or there is unlawful activity there will be immediate removal from the village. For less serious behaviour there will be one strike before the worker is out. All situations will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and if necessary in consultation with Local Authorities

How will JGM Group prevent other issues on the site?

We want to build recreational activities and ensure there are facilities on site and in the area for workers. Site management will include monitoring social cohesion.

Can visitors come to the sites?

Yes but there will be rules around this- the best comparison is with a hotel, the same general rules will apply.

Who is JGM?

We’re a team of local successful businessmen who are dedicated to getting Christchurch back up and running. We have backgrounds in construction, development and HR.


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